When persons find themselves unable to make responsible decisions about their finances, property, living situations or care, the courts may appoint a Guardian or Conservator. Court-appointed guardians/conservators manage the personal and/or financial affairs of vulnerable persons who can no longer protect themselves.
Guardian: Person(s) appointed by the court to make the personal decisions for the protected person, also known as the ward. The guardian has authority to make decisions on behalf of the protected person about such things as where to live, medical decisions, training and education, etc.
Conservator: Person(s) appointed to make financial decisions for the protected person. The conservator typically has the power to enter into contracts, pay bills, invest assets, and perform other financial functions for the protected person.
Education is required for those serving as guardians and or conservators for individuals in Nebraska.
If you have questions or input regarding guardianships or conservatorships, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guardians and conservators are required to report annually on the condition and finances of the protected person to the court which appointed them. Contact information for county courts can be found in this list.
Notice to Guardians and Conservators on Changes to Reporting Requirements (CC 16:2.66)
Nebraska Supreme Court Rule §6-1433 requires that any governmental agency paying benefits on behalf of the ward, incapacitated person, protected person, or minor, be considered an interested person in a guardianship or conservatorship. This means that if your ward/incapacitated person/protected person gets social security or V.A. benefits, for example, you must send a copy of your annual report to the governmental agency. This is in addition to any other interested persons to whom you are currently sending reports and notice.
If you were appointed:
- Guardian with control of the ward's assets, complete the forms in Packet A.
- Guardian with a court-approved budget, complete the forms in Packet B.
- Conservator, complete the forms in Packet C.
- Both guardian and conservator, complete the forms in Packet D.
- Guardian without control of the ward's assets, complete the forms in Packet E.
Other forms to assist you in the guardianship/conservatorship process are available below:
- Interested Party Forms
- Orders of Appointment
- Acceptances of Appointment
- Individual annual reporting forms (included in packets above)
- Discharge of Guardian/Conservator
- Other Guardian Forms
- Full list of guardian/conservator forms (non-categorized)
NOTE: The Nebraska Judicial Branch does not publish instructions or forms for the establishment of guardianship or conservatorship, but you can learn about the process by reading informational guides listed below. If you need to establish a guardianship or conservatorship you should talk with a lawyer.
Informational Guides for Guardians/Conservators (produced by University of Nebraska Extension Office)
- What is Guardianship/Conservatorship?
- Guardianship/Conservatorship Responsibilities to the Court
- Guardianship/Conservatorship Responsibilities to the Ward
- Alternatives to Guardianship
- Decision-Making as a Guardian/Conservator
- Guardianship of a Minor
- Guardian/Conservator Financial Responsibilities
All four of the reports listed below are required to be submitted to the Court at least 10 days prior to your hearing to be appointed as Guardian/Conservator, unless waived or is temporary/emergency. Records will be kept confidential by the Court.
1. Credit Report
Any established credit reporting agency/business is accepted.
2. Sex Offender Registry
Out of State appointees use home-state registry.
3. Criminal History
Nebraska law requires a national criminal history check. National checks are currently unavailable; courts are accepting state-specific reports from the proposed guardian/conservator’s state(s) of residence at this time.
Nebraska residents use Nebraska State Patrol Criminal History Reports for Arrest and Prosecution (RAP) sheet.
4. Abuse, Neglect Registry
Child/Adult Abuse and Neglect Registry checks are done in writing through Department of Health and Human Services (forms are both Spanish and English).
After January 1, 2016, all training will be conducted through the Office of the Public Guardian.
Guardian/Conservator Laws and Rules
- Nebraska Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 30-2601 - 2661)
- Uniform County Court Rules of Practice and Procedure. §§ 6-1401 to 6-1465.
Many agencies and organizations throughout the State provide information about guardianships and/or conservatorships. A few Nebraska references are listed below:
- County Court Clerk Magistrate Contact Information
- Office of Public Guardian
- Health and Human Services, State Unit on Aging
- Health and Human Services, Adult Protective Services
- UNL Extension Office
- Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Parent Association (offers information and support for foster parents who are considering becoming guardians of the their foster children)
- Volunteers Assisting Seniors
- The Arc of Nebraska
- Aging Partners
- Nebraska State Bar Association
Adult Protective Services Hotline Information:
If you have reason to believe a vulnerable adult has been abused, neglected, or exploited:
- Call the 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-800-652-1999 OR your local law enforcement.
Trial Court Services Director
1213 State Capitol
1445 K Street/P.O. Box 98910
Lincoln, NE 68509